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Eric Carmen

From Kay Bryson's Facebook Page

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Kay Bryson
March 19
 
A message for Raspberries fans from Wally: Yesterday it came to Wally's attention that Eric Carmen and some of the fans on his website have mistakenly commented that the recent Shindig article was somehow an attempt to taint Eric's upcoming CD release. Here are the facts:
1. The interview with Wally was done over a year ago (way before Eric's release was announced)
2. The magazine editors pushed the issue back all this time which neither Wally nor the writer had any control.
3. Wally found out that only he and Scott were interviewed when our copy came in the mail a few weeks ago. We assumed all members of the band were being interviewed for the cover story.
4. We've been told since that Eric was invited on two occasions to interview for this but declined. 
 
We do not visit Eric's website precisely because of what Eric says and how his fanatic fans opine on things they know nothing about. Once in a while someone tells us things that are being said there and 99% of the time Wally ignores Eric's disrespect towards him and his family, or how he rewrites band history in his favor. He didn't want to do this interview because he is sick of talking about Raspberries, and knows that any fan, writer, or publication will endure Eric's wrath if the truth is told from Wally's perspective or if they say something not to his liking. But Wally will not apologize for giving honest answers to questions asked. In fact, I recently thought Eric may have been holding up the article to coincide with his release for the publicity. Instead, as he's done in the past whenever Wally receives good press or tells a truth contradictory to his, Eric will browbeat a writer or publication to feature an article on his solo efforts; it wouldn't be a surprise if he tried to do this with Shindig. 
 
Wally is as honest as the day is long and a straight shooter. He tells it like it is and doesn't play games. He's a musician, not a promoter, politician, or marketer. No matter what's been told in the past, Raspberries broke up the first time around because of the incessant game-playing. In his youth it angered him. For decades later it frustrated and saddened him. The same game-playing doomed the reunion when Wally put the final nail in the coffin psychologically after having enough of it. As a mature adult, he is disgusted that despite the great music created, the band's legacy has become an embarrassment. Friends, family, fans, co-workers, and worst of all professional associates become caught up in a web of weird wackiness that he wants no part of. He said last year that this would be his last interview regarding Raspberries and apologizes to his loyal fans that things couldn't be different. People wonder why he never wants to talk about the band, or even play the songs. Well this is why. 
 
As for Eric's upcoming CD: Unless Eric re-recorded all the Raspberries and Cyrus Erie songs, Wally is featured on this CD. If that is true, Wally will receive performance royalties through sound exchange, so therefore, has a vested interest in its success. Professional courtesy dictates that someone releasing songs an artist appears on informs them of such. We only heard of this in the last few months from a random FaceBook post. 
 
In my opinion, the travesty is not that Eric's one song he's written in years is somehow in his mind being sabotaged, it is that the songs Wally has written over the years (at least 3 or 4 albums worth in my estimation) may never see the light of day because he is so tired and disillusioned by his experiences in this band and the music business in general. But I will keep pushing and hopefully when he retires soon, things will change. Wally has no time or energy to 
Give Eric or Raspberries much thought in his demanding day to day work with the developmentally disabled population and the two or three gigs he plays a year. So Eric and his die-hards need to get over it. We do not like using a public forum to air this, but Eric's website is a bully pulpit for his vitriol. A professional person sincerely interested in writing a story about a band should not be called a hater or be subjected to personal barbs on a public forum. A few years ago we were told that Eric spoke of Wally's fans drinking the "Bryson Kool-aid". The only haters and Kool-aid drinkers we see are at ec.com.
 
My response:
 
1) I was never contacted by anyone re/ the Shindig article.
 
2) I never, for one minute, thought that Wally, or the Shindig article were an attempt to "rain on my parade." I doubt that Wally had any idea  that "The Essential..." was even being released. Having said that, I don't think Wally would have done it, purposely, in any case.
 
3) I have never "disrespected" Wally Bryson's family. I actually really like Jessie!
 
4) I have yet to meet a writer that could be "intimidated" into skewing an interview or an article, one way or the other. To suggest I have that kind of power is flattering, but completely untrue. I'm not exactly Mick Jagger to the rock writers of the world.
 
5) it is absolutely ludicrous ( and paranoid ) to suggest that I had any control over when the Shindig piece ( which I knew nothing about ) would be published. If I had, or cared, I could have or would have had my "rebuttal" in the same issue. You'll note that didn't happen.
 
6) I have never "browbeaten" a writer in my life.
 
7) The Raspberries didn't work the first time, or during the reunion tour, because, contrary to what Kay would have you believe, Wally is a very angry and bitter man. Let me tell you a quick story to illustrate my point. During the last "reunion" shows, we had a terrific and talented sax player, named Paul Christianson with us. We had never had the benefit of a sax player onstage, since the earliest days of Raspberries, so it was a treat to have Paul onboard. In the absence of a sax player, Wally played the "sax solo" that Michael Brecker played on "Overnight Sensation" on guitar, but since we now actually HAD a sax player, during rehearsals, I suggested that Wally should let Paul take the sax solo, and then come in on top of it, the way he did on the record. Wally's reaction to that suggestion was one of "You're taking something away from me!", rather than "OK, we've got a sax player, let's make use of him, and make it sound "just like the record." During rehearsals, Wally "layed out" of the sax solo, but when we played our last show, a private party at the Rock Hall, the night before the induction ceremony, in 2009, he played right over Paul. I had my "earbuds" in and couldn't believe what I was hearing, at the time. When I got home that night, it just so happened that someone with a camera phone, standing just to the side of Wally's side of the stage had recorded it, AND put the recording on YouTube! I don't know if the video is still there, but in it, you can hear Wally blasting his guitar over the sax solo, and you can also see me, at the keyboard, on the opposite side of the stage, whipping my head around in disbelief! That is precisely why Raspberries failed, and why there will never be another reunion. Because Wally never was, and cannot be, a "team player." It didn't matter what was right for the song. It only mattered  that the spotlight would have been on Paul for the 15 seconds that the solo took, and not Wally. Being in a band is about recognizing your "role" in the band, and doing that, to the best of your ability, not about who is the center of  attention for 15 seconds.
 
8) I do not currently believe, nor have I ever believed, that my "one song I've written in many years" was being "sabotaged" by Wally Bryson. Such thinking would be delusional.
 
9) To the best of my knowledge, no one has called the writer of the Shindig article a "hater."
 
10) If Wally "truly didn't want to do the interview", why did he do it?
 
11) I honestly don't need to "get over" anything. The proof is, as they say, in the pudding, and no amount of lame excuses will change that fact. Had Wally Bryson dedicated himself to writing great songs ( which I personally would have been THANKFUL FOR, because it would have taken some of the pressure off of me to keep coming up with "hits", every time we went into the studio ) there would be an "Essential... Wally Bryson" CD, with 30 great songs on it. Sadly, there is not, and I, for one am truly saddened by the fact that Wally was the one person I wanted to play in a band with the most, and who had a boatload of charisma, and was a fantastic guitarist, and, unfortunately, shot  himself in the foot every time he got close to success. It pains me to think that Kay and Wally blame me ( or Jim ) for ruining Wally's chances, when, indeed, it is exactly the other way around. Raspberries might have succeeded, but for Wally's inability to simply be the "tremendously charismatic guitarist with the great voice." 
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E,

As part of your fanatic "gang" I am interested in an example of the games Kay speaks of...just curious.  I'll need to read and re-read this post over again a few times to absorb everything into my Raspberries-lovin' soul and brain.

xoxo

M.E.

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marvin   
On 4/7/2014 at 10:07 PM, Eric Carmen said:

BTW, Marvin, you can go post this on the Bryson website whenever you want.

Sorry Eric, but I had nothing to do with this. Your call if you believe me or not, but I'm disappointed in the accusation.

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Okay, I see the 4 of us sitting here...reading...thinking...Wally is tremendously talented.  I don't know the guy, but I know he has wonderful qualities and skills to work with disabled children...an amazing "dark prince" guitar player when he was with the Rs...WOW!!...how'd Kay think to post all of that on FB?  Not sure I would have...

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There were no "games," ever. Wally was an immensely talented guy who just couldn't understand "context."  When Jim called me, after he had just been contacted by the HOB in Cleveland, asking if we would consider getting back together for one night, he asked me "What should I say to Wally" and I said "Just tell him to play his guitar and have fun." Unfortunately, that, apparently, was just not possible, and I could post testimonials from EVERYONE who was there, during rehearsals, and during the "live'" performances.

And here is the saddest truth, to this day, I love the guy. He was one of my heroes. My fondest wish was that we could have become a team like Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, or Mick and Keith, but that requires that Joe Perry recognizes his role, and is willing to play that role. If Joe Perry wants to be Steven Tyler, Steven ends up a solo artist.

 

And so it goes.

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Eric,

I know you wanted Wally to be your go-to guy in the Rs.  It's obvious!!  This stuff is still so close to the surface.  What do you think Wally believes the games were? 

Don't want folks to get all up in arms...I hate it if we turn against each other here.  Want to (sort of) love everyone, you know?

M.E.

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Marvin, I saw your "like" regarding Kay's post. I get it, and you. I'm going to stop right here, but don't think I'm stupid. You want to drink the Bryson Kool-Aid?, be my guest, but don't pretend to be something you're not.

I've gone out of my way to be respectful to you, and to your opinions, even if I don't agree with them, but don't think I don't understand where your "loyalties" are. Sadly, I think you're mostly a troublemaker, and I have no more time for that.

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marvin   

Regardless of where my loyalties lie and whether I 'liked' some of her comments (I didn't necessarily agree with everything she wrote), I DID NOT bring any of this topic to Kay's attention. 

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James   

I only know the facts that are available to a humble fan like me   But what I know is not immaterial:

1. In the interview Wally did...some of the stuff he said was low rent, and mean.

2. I used to read the Raspberries website when Mrs. Bryson ran it.  It was at times an abomination. This was a website dedicated to the Raspberries.  Eric Carmen was a Raspberry....the leader and most productive Raspberry.  And she used the site to  bash Eric Carmen.  A Raspberry website.  Used to bash the #1 Raspberry.  Come on.

I think that was revealing and helpful in evaluating the relative credibility of the 2 sides here.

For what it's worth.... from this fan,

James

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Marvin, I understand you were "courted " by The Bryson's before the first reunion show, but honestly, I think you're a pretty bright guy. If there was any truth to Wally's claim to "writing" the intro of " GATW", where is it evident anywhere else on the four Raspberries albums? Answer: Nowhere.

Second, how can you explain the 'middle eight' of "GATW" if the intro had not already been written when I brought the song in? Answer: You can't.

Third, why would Wally continue to play in a band with me, if, indeed, I had "stolen" his intro? Answer: He would't have, and neither would anyone else.

Fourth, where do you think the intros of "I Wanna Be With You", "Tonight", "Ecstasy" and "I'm A Rocker" came from? Has Wally ever claimed he "wrote" any of those? Answer: No, he hasn't. Why? Because he has no basis whatsoever to make that claim. The whole 'brouhaha' over "GATW" was based on a "typo" on the back of the band's first album cover that erroneously credited ( Carmen/ Bryson ) as the writer(s) of "GATW".  If you look at the label on the LP, it says ( E. Carmen ) where the writer credit is. Wally has used this for 42 years to try to convince anyone who would listen that he was "robbed." I could not be more offended by that accusation, and it's something that no one, other than Wally Bryson, has EVER accused me of! Just for the record, once a song is written, and submitted to The Library Of Congress for copyright purposes, IT CAN NEVER BE CHANGED. PERIOD. So, you can believe that I ripped Wally off and somehow changed copyright law in America, or you can understand that he's FULL OF SHIT!!! 

Believe whatever you want, but, again,  I say, the proof is in the pudding. If Wally is such a freakin' GENIUS with guitar intros, where are they on HIS SONGS? Answer: Nowhere.

I'm done with this debate. I'm going to bed. 

Wally's output, on the four Raspberries albums speaks to this. "Play On" ....Scott McCarl, "Money Down"....Wally Bryson. Enough, already! If you really think he's a genius then go visit his web page and stop stirring up trouble.

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James,

Thanks for your insights and your input here, as I don't have any experience with Wally's website.  Good information to know. 

I also didn't read the Shindig article, but since you did, I'll take your good word and good counsel re same.

M.E.

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Brian   

Eric.....I was there in the old days.....knew Marty & you when we were in Kent together, even at John Carroll.......during The Hulabaloo days.....spoke with you at Beachwood Place a couple years ago.......The Cyrus Erie, The Quick,....still live in Chagrin Falls.....

 I recall this all from years ago and it pains me to re-live it again.....even back then, there was discord amongst the band....sorry to hear  that the "monster" still lives......

................moving on..............

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I wasn't going to like or comment to this thread in any way. I have been dismayed at some of the postings on this site in the not so distant past, especially responses to my own posts that were so far off from what I was trying to communicate, I am hesitant to express any personal opinions. Having said that, I am offended that she  has lumped all of us, including Eric, into a "Let's Bash Wally Group' based upon what someone told her. I hate it when someone tries to tell me what I am feeling or thinking; since I am the only person living inside me, I think I should be allowed to decide.

I have never met any of the people involved including Eric, so I come to my conclusions based upon what I have read about the situation not what someone has told me (and I have not found all of my information here). Mrs. Bryson's posting just reinforces the conclusions I have already come to. I guess I am a "fanatic fan" (Kay Bryson, paragraph two, sentence one), just call me Fanny for short.

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The weirdest part of Kay's little tirade, is that her interpretation of the Shindig piece is that it was "good press" for Wally! I don't believe that "sour grapes" translates into "good press."

And I'd give worlds to know what kind of "games" Kay keeps talking about. She's not very specific, and I have no idea what she could be referring to. In any case, in the end, it all boils down to this:

Shindig Magazine interviewed Wally and Scott. Wally could have taken the interview in a positive direction. He chose not to. No one "made" him say the stupid things he said. He did it of his own free will.

In so doing, he simply continued to drive a few more unnecessary nails into a coffin that he nailed shut for good in 2009. Scott, as usual, was thoughtful with his answers, showed great insight, and was a gentleman.

Kay's paranoid rant, like Wally's, is a reflection of who she is. All that she and Wally accomplish with this stuff, is to make themselves look small, bitter and mean-spirited.

Wally's right to "tell the truth, as he sees it" is his prerogative. It's just unfortunate that he and Kay continue to spew their "vitriol " ( as Kay put it ) every time they're given an opportunity. 

Instead of taking a step back, and trying to see what happened, with the perspective of 40 years, it's as if they are still experiencing everything in 1974. I find this pathetic.

When Wally said, in the Shindig piece, that "Go All The Way is what a REAL rock band sounds like......right up until the singing starts..." he demonstrated that he never really "got it," because what made our songs special was the combination of power guitars and great melodies and harmonies. The intro of "GATW" is terrific, but the song can exist without it. The Killers', covered "GATW" for Tim Burton's "Dark Shadows", and didn't even play the intro!

In any case, nothing will ever come of all this, except more negativity, and I, for one, am moving on to more positive thoughts.

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Not sure this was ever posted here. (Kirk, you're slipping!) A nice shout-out to a hometown hero. Along with a snippet of a tasty slow ballad-version of GATW.

Bernie

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Catnip   

The funny thing is that I spoke to a writer that wants to do an article for Shindig and for an online site in December. That was before the Wally Bryson article. If the interview and article appear now she will say Eric is trying to steal Wally's spotlight.

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Eric,

On another note, I finally received my Essential cd in the mail yesterday, and have played it all twice now.  I'm lovin' it!

Thank you for being the remarkable artist that you are, this is giving me great joy!

You're the best!

Teresa

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On 4/8/2014 at 4:56 PM, Eric Carmen said:

I find experiencing 2014 MUCH more interesting, and fun than re-experiencing 1974. Back to the future!

I could not agree more !

1974,who would want to live and dwell  in that era ?.....

I was preteen and never heard GATW (sheltered life).

Now, we have all the joy and wonders ahead of us without the obligations.

Looking forward to new EC music !

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MikeWNY   

I never experienced 1974 to begin with and I'm thinking I didn't miss too much. Most (or at least many) bands seem to experience strife and I don't see how she can write that the Raspberries have developed an embarrassing reputation because of it. These argumemts are just "inside baseball" for most people. Despite the ongoing drama, I think most of us are more interested in what might be ahead of us in 2014 than a rescreening of 1974's Creature from the Black Lagoon.

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